About the Match
Hampshire has played six matches in the South Division League of the on-going NatWest T20 Blast and collected 8 points, losing 2 of the matches and is facing Gloucestershire, who are also having 8 points from 6 matches, on June 20th at Southampton. The Gloucs having lost only one match, 1 tied and one match ending with no result, have done well so far but Hampshire has a better NRR. Both teams are equally poised for an exciting match ahead on Friday, and will try to dominate the other right from the word go.
Their last match against Somerset led to a loss by a narrow margin of 1 run, losing 7 wickets and failing to chase 176, set by the opponent after losing only 4 wickets. Challenging Somerset to bat first and set a target, Hampshire toiled in the field employing 6 bowlers to dismiss the strong 2nd wicket partnership of Kieswetter and Trego, as their bowlers did not have enough bite in their attack except for Wood who claimed 2 wickets with Vince and Abbott being the other successful bowlers. Smith, Coles and Ervine were not effective against the robust batting of the Somerset pair and allowed them to pile up 176 losing only 4 wickets in 20 overs. Chasing the target, opener Vince was out for a duck in the 3rd ball of the very 1st over; Carberry and Maxwell took the score to 66 while the middle order batsmen showed application to reach the target. Though Smith put up a fight with his well-made 25, Coles could not survive the last ball coming after a loss of 6 wickets, and thus they lost the match. The Gloucs have strong batsmen, with Klinger and Marshal in good form and the Hampshire bowlers need to bowl tactfully to contain them if they wish to win the match.
Playing their last match against Essex, the leaders of the South Division, they were put into bat by the Essex Captain on winning the toss. Essex capitalized the conditions of the pitch and but for the good knock of 74 off 47 balls by Marshall, coming at No.4 and stopping the slide against the intelligent bowlers of Essex, Gloucs’ position could have been worse. They did not have the firepower to dislodge Westley and Bopara who came together at 51 for 2 and couldn’t be separated by Payne, Taylor or McCarter. Smith and Howell took one wicket each in the initial stages of the chase but the opponents made it to the post comfortably losing only 2 wickets with 9 balls to spare. Gloucs need to improve their bowling against Hampshire which has Carberry, Maxwell, Shah and Ervine with even Smith capable of using long hand methods when the need arises. Klinger and company should bat with purpose in setting a target to chase if asked to bat first, and deny any opportunities for domination by the opposition.
Gloucestershire has done decent job so far in the tournament, but their bowling has not been that good. Hampshire has tasted some close defeats and will be looking to bounce back in this game. While the match could swing either way, we expect Hampshire to win the contest, as they have a better bowling performance compared to the ineffective attack of Gloucestershire.
Hampshire, 1.44 @ Bet365